The aim of inverting seismic waveforms is to obtain the "best" earth model. The best model is defined as the one producing seismograms that best match (usually under a least-squares criterion) those recorded. Our approach is nonlinear in the sense that we synthesize seismograms without using any linearization of the elastic wave equation. Since we use rather complete data sets without any spatial aliasing, we do not have the problem of secondary minima (Tarantola, 1986). Nevertheless, our gradient methods fail to converge if the starting earth model is far from the true earth (Mora, 1987; Kolb et al., 1986; Pica et al., 1989).

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